Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Caves of the Thousand Butt-heads

Well, I solved the problem of what next to read. I closed my eyes and chose the first thing my hand found. It is real bonafide shoot-em-up CIA let’s chase the terrorist bastards and kill them dead dead dead from a guy that specializes in bonafide shoot-em-up CIA let’s chase the terrorist bastards and kill them dead dead dead books. It reads well and the story flows and it should take about thirteen minutes to finish. This is not to say that the piece is of small value, it is just fodder for the canon that is my reading ability. I haven’t gone very far into this literary regularpiece (sure a made up word, but I could not think of a word to describe a book like this that wasn’t insulting) when it occurred to me that it was at the keyboard I belonged.

I was particularly drawn to a portion of a daily meditation from Fr. Richard Rohr this morning. "The terms “right” and “left” came from the Estates General in France. It’s interesting that now we use them as our basic political terms. On the left sat the ordinary people, on the right sat the nobility and the clergy! (What were the clergy doing over there?!) I think you see the pattern.” For some reason it spoke to me sharply. My first thought was that I am glad, and sad to be universally sitting on the left side of the theater. Not really a democrat, but resoundingly not a republican. The humor in this right and left discussion comes in the reality of the separation of the parties and their perspective agendas. There is a feeling that the left has the common man in mind as they govern and the right is there for the Fortune 500. My speculation goes to the ideal that if you are in government at a representative or higher position then you are definitely sitting on the right. The average American wage is $40,000 per year while the average elected figure in the federal government makes more than four times that much. Money is, after all, what separates us into classes. Sounds like an elite crowd to me.

I would be prone to give these guys (and gals) a break, even my common man folks in the Democratic Party if they were even trying to look out for the common man. Watch C-span some time and see if they don’t look like a bunch of over-educated butt heads trying to impress someone while they eat in fine restaurants and take bribes from PAC’s and Lobbyists that increase their salaries exponentially. Does anyone realize that when a member of congress retires after a certain amount of years they are allowed to keep what is in their campaign funds? With a presidential election going for close to or more than $100,000,000 one can only imagine how much theses buttheads are skimming off the American Bottom Line.

And we are on the verge of a financial crisis every minute of every day.

There is a place in the Gansu Province of China called the Caves of the Thousand of Buddhas. It has been said in local legend, that in AD 366 a Buddhist monk had a vision of a thousand Buddha’s which inspired the excavation of the caves he envisioned. The number of temples eventually grew to more than a thousand. Buddhist monks collected scriptures from the west and pilgrims passing through the area painted murals inside the caves. The cave paintings and architecture served as aids to meditation, as visual representations of the quest for enlightenment, as mnemonic devices, and as teaching tools to inform illiterate Chinese about Buddhist beliefs and stories. (Thank you Wikipedia)

I propose that our right sided population in the Nation’s Capital visit this location and, perhaps, absorb some of the spirit of the place and take it back to Washington. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen. There would be all the folderol associated with a “Congressional Fact Finding Mission” and the banquets and photo ops and the speeches and the junk associated with sitting on the right side. Remember now, my proposition that all member of congress are sitting on the right. Is there a way out? Is there a way to bring this mess we call a reality to some kind of visible ending? Perhaps it would be if Congress, instead of crawling into the Caves of the Thousand Buttheads which is our nation’s capital, were to heed the words of the Buddha:

“As a mother would risk her life
to protect her child, her only child,
even so should one cultivate a limitless heart
with regard to all beings.
With good will for the entire cosmos,
cultivate a limitless heart:
Above, below, & all around,
unobstructed, without hostility or hate.
Whether standing, walking,
sitting, or lying down,
as long as one is alert,
one should be resolved on this mindfulness.
This is called a sublime abiding
here & now.”


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